Uninsured persons with serious medical conditions are already fighting against the odds of the hand they were dealt. Treatment and support are the only two things necessary for recovery, and for those who lack insurance, support is the lifeline that must come first, and can be found through surprising means, Obamacare notwithstanding.
This Friday, a benefit show for Nevada Hill, a Dallas artist who's been diagnosed with melanoma, will be held at the Crown and Harp. It will be the second in a series of three shows, one each month in the three corners of the DFW metroplex: Ft. Worth was last month, Dallas, and the last one on November 22 at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton.
While Nevada faces more surgery and eventual chemotherapy, support from friends, artists and musicians has flourished. Hill has poured years of his adult life into music and visual arts. It's a passion for artistic expression and performance that is now being reciprocated by an overwhelming supportive community.
"You have your own reward, but I never thought this would be one of them," chuckles Hill. "People going out of their way and trying really hard to raise money for you, because they want to see you around, they want you to keep making things because it makes the whole community better in the long run."
Long time friends and band mates, Britt Robisheaux and Brian McKendry, have been making the arrangements for each show, which will include a return of Drug Mountain, along with Nevada Hill.
"Basically I just put everything together and run it by him," says Britt. "Make sure all of the bands are bands that he would want to see, not that that really matters. The best thing is to keep your mind off of what's going on, so any distraction I can give him, I try to give him."
Each show, along with the Ft. Worth show last month at The Where House, exhibits not only some of the most interesting bands that exist on the fringes of local music, such as Vulgar Fashion and Strange Towers, but also musicians who show support for a friend and artist.
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"I think that like-mindedness definitely brings a lot of people together," says Andrew Michael, of Denton experimental band Vulgar Fashion, who will be performing at the Dallas benefit show. "Especially because most artists, well a lot of artists locally that have been doing this forever and don't get a ton of support, it's all kind of up to us to fund it, to make it, create it and put it on. And being left to one's own devices I think enables people to also help each other out."
Hill has received numerous donations through his website, although asking for support in the form of funds was not easy for him. His donation page was set up in response to people wanting to send him money.
"It's a weird idea for me in general for people just to give me money because I'm sick, but I had to get over that, and all the people were asking to donate."
The accumulation of donations took Hill seemingly by surprise.
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"People from high school, that I haven't talked to in years, and people who have had really meaningful relationships at one point in your life, that you haven't even seen in a while are giving you two to three hundred dollars, or even 15 dollars, any type of ... its very heartwarming," says Hill.
While donations are still being received, the shows will offer various items up for raffle, such as donated art and signed records, followed by a substantial raffle at the final benefit show in Denton.
"We're definitely glad to be able to support our friends ... he's definitely a big time contributor to the local art, and if not national and international, but definitely just in context in our local community, I would say that Nevada is a gem for sure," says Michael. "You know, life is hard, and we'll be there for him, and we hope he gets better."